Thanksgiving was a little different this year. Usually my husband and I celebrate with both families on the same day. Early supper at 2pm with my family followed a later dinner at 6pm with his family, both with tables topping a dozen guests. Don’t even talk to me about food comas. But this year we did mini celebrates, one per day. On actual Thanksgiving we celebrated at my grandma’s with my immediate family dining on a traditional turkey with (much appreciated) gluten-free everything on the side. Dinner number one was delicious, but it was Friday’s dinner at my in-laws house that blew my mind. And it had nothing to do with the fancy cherry-stuffed turkey roulade.
Shredded Brussels sprouts. Dried figs. Bacon.
I always eat my veggies but this time I wanted nothing else. The concept of shredding the Brussels sprouts before lightly cooking is absolutely genius. Rather than having to grab your hunk of Brussels and get in a tiny bit of bacon and whatever else it might be sautéed with, the slivered sprouts mix right in with everything else. Every bite, guaranteed perfect.
I’m not sure what bothers me more. The fact that I never thought of this combination myself, or the fact that it’s actually been out there and I never noticed. For six years, this recipe of perfection has sat on the New York Times website. And I never even noticed. But I can promise you one thing. This recipe already because a star for my recent New Year’s menu. And it will stay in my recipe rotation. Probably forever.
Brussels Sprouts with Figs and Bacon (Adapted from The New York Times)
- 4 oz bacon, chopped
- 1 lb Brussels Sprouts, stems trimmed
- 1 c dried figs, stemmed and quartered
- 1 tbsp good quality balsamic vinegar
- Salt and Pepper
In a large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until crisp, about 5-8 minutes. Drain off all but 2 tablespoons of bacon grease.
Meanwhile, put sprouts through feed tube of a food processor equipped with a slicing attachment and shred.
Add sprouts, figs and 1/4 cup water to pan; sprinkle with salt and pepper, turn heat to medium, and cook, undisturbed, until sprouts and figs are nearly tender, about 5 to 10 minutes. Turn heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until any remaining water evaporates, another 5 to 10 minutes. Add vinegar, taste, adjust seasoning and serve.